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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen] :wave: [FONT=Comic Sans MS] Hello All...my name is Vicki, I'm 33 yrs old & i've been reading thru the board & found a lot of good information, but would really appreciate it if maybe some of you could assure me about a back fusion & discectomy. Here is my story...i'm open to all situations/opinions/experiences...i'm desperate for any information.

On Sept 11, 1998 (that was my first problem...the date!) I worked for a paratransit company that transported disabled & elderly (another strange coincidence) & while stepping off my bus I landed in a hole that I didn't see because of the over-grown grass...anyway, I hyper-extended my knee & felt pain in my hamstring...long story short...i've had 4 knee surgeries on my right knee & one on my left (it wore out fast from compensation & lots of time on crutches & limping.) I had knee surgeries in 98, 99, 00, 01 & 03...each time I was on crutches for about 4-10 weeks. Not much time to heal from one to the next. Well, now my knees are shot...I have osteoarthritis & condromalacia grade 3 & i can't kneel or squat - I bend to do everything. Needless to say...my back gave up on me too.

I have spondololythesis (bilateral pars interarticularis) & I had a bulging disc (L5-S1) for quite awhile until a neurosurgeon put me in a home traction device - it herniated my disc quickly & greatly!! :eek: In the mean time, I have been in PT/Pool Therapy/Massage Therapy since the injury of my knee...at first for knees and now the back. After the herniation, I started bouncing around from one Dr to the next trying to figure out what to do...i have tried all the conservative stuff (except Acupuncture...i think that's next) and finally had a heart-to-heart talk with my Physiatrist yesterday.

He says that the L5 & S1 nerves are pinched, I have pain in my back, hip, butt & leg...with numbness & heaviness in my leg often. I have anterior displacement of the L5 and the huge herniation. He says there is no way around surgery...he wants to do a nerve block on both nerves within the next couple weeks until I see a new neurosurgeon about surgery - one he is referring me to. The first injection didn't do a darn thing!

I personally don't know 1 person that has had a successful back surgery no matter what type of surgery it was. One doc even told me that it would make me worse...it would get rid of the leg pain, but not the back pain. I am so miserable & don't care what they do anymore, but since I have so many problems with my knees, I'm worried about cascading problems with my back because I will always have to bend more than the average Joe. I don't know what to do...can somebody please let me know how their fusion went? My house looks like a convalesent home with foam wedges, heating pads, ice-packs, TENS units, ace wraps, Sombra, :) pills, canes, reachers...blah, blah, blah. I'm set for my senior years!!! LOL

I have also heard from a couple Dr's about "caging" for the fusion...do they still take bone from the hip when they do this? I can't just have a discectomy because of the bilateral fractures in L5...HELPPPPPPP!!!!! :dizzy: Has anybody had the caging?

Thanks for letting me ramble on like a crazy woman & do hope you can help me or give me some sort of advice. Endless nights of staying up because of the pain, the weeks i'm in bed on my back because I can't walk with the "flare-ups" and all the pain meds...have about sent me over the edge! I see there are many like me & I feel for all of you (and also read your posts at 2 in the morning....) Take care & God Bless.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[QUOTE=

I have spondololythesis (bilateral pars interarticularis) & I had a bulging disc (L5-S1) for quite awhile until a neurosurgeon put me in a home traction device - it herniated my disc quickly & greatly!! :eek: In the mean time, I have been in PT/Pool Therapy/Massage Therapy since ......

He says that the L5 & S1 nerves are pinched, I have pain in my back, hip, butt & leg...with numbness & heaviness in my leg often. I have anterior displacement of the L5 and the huge herniation. He says there is no way around surgery...he wants to do a nerve block on both nerves within the next couple weeks until I see a new neurosurgeon about surgery - one he is referring me to. The first injection didn't do a darn thing!

I personally don't know 1 person that has had a successful back surgery no matter what type of surgery it was. One doc even told me that it would make me worse...it would get rid of the leg pain, but not the back pain. I am so miserable & don't care what they do anymore, but since I have so many problems with my knees, I'm worried about cascading problems with my back because I will always have to bend more than the average Joe. I don't know what to do...can somebody please let me know how their fusion went? My house looks like a convalesent home with foam wedges, heating pads, ice-packs, TENS units, ace wraps, Sombra, :) pills, canes, reachers...blah, blah, blah. I'm set for my senior years!!! LOL

I have also heard from a couple Dr's about "caging" for the fusion...do they still take bone from the hip when they do this? I can't just have a discectomy because of the bilateral fractures in L5...HELPPPPPPP!!!!! :dizzy: Has anybody had the caging?

Thanks for letting me ramble on like a crazy woman & do hope you can help me or give me some sort of advice. Endless nights of staying up because of the pain, the weeks i'm in bed on my back because I can't walk with the "flare-ups" and all the pain meds...have about sent me over the edge! I see there are many like me & I feel for all of you (and also read your posts at 2 in the morning....) Take care & God Bless.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]



My son is going to have fusion surgery for Grade III spondylolisthesis in Nov. He is your age with the same symptoms and has had 5 consults in NYC and Philly. They all say the same thing - surgery with bone graft from iliac crest. From everything I've heard and everything doctors have told him it seems that spondylolisthesis usually has a decent outcome., but who ever knows until it's over with.

If you have an anterior/posaterior approach they can use a cadaver bone and BMP (Bone Morphogenetic Protein). They are more likely to use this approach on women than on men because there may be soe sexual problems in males albeit a small percentage. The FDA hasn't approved BMP for a posterior approach yet.

My son will be having the posterior approach with a bone graft.

Coincidentally the doctor my son has selected just had the same surgery himself for spondylolisthesis. He is doing fine 3 months out. He also had the bone graft himself.

One doctor out of 5 said they didn't need to do a bone graft and would use bone that was removed from his spine and mix it with Bone Matrix and he said it should do as well. This neurosurgeon has an excellent reputation too, but my son seemed to bond with the one who had the same problem as he.

I am worried about the outcome too but it has to be done since he can't live like this. His will be a two level fusion and they will use caging. I saw the cage and it looked nothing like I had pictured. It was just this little thing that fits between the disks (at least I think that's where it goes but may be wrong).

Oh, before I forget, my friend had this surgery and said it was the best thing she ever did.

Bobi





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